I pink it might be summer….

At least I’m pretty sure it was summer …we swam in the sea and used sunscreen for the first two days of this week…..but right now it’s raining heavily on my wetsuit that I left outside to dry!!

I’m happy to say that I made it outdoors before the rain to photograph my new top –


Made using Simplicity 2599 – I also used the same pattern here and here. On my first version of this pattern I straightened the shoulder slope to match my shoulders, and it’s now my favourite pattern for a quick make.



For this top I rotated the bust dart to sit horizontally across the centre bust ,and left the extra  drape that this created at the lower front, so that it is pretty loose-fitting
from the bust down. There is a useful explanation of rotating a dart on Megan Nielsen’s blog .


I stitched the dart from the right side so that it would add a bit of interest to a pretty plain



The fabric is a very lightweight cotton that was cut from an old dress that didn’t fit anymore. The armholes and neck edge are finished with bias strips and the side seams are french seamed.

It’s good to finally have some sewing to show. I’ve also pulled out a few UFO’s to finish… does anyone remember this dress? After seeing a lovely orange version made up on Catherine Daze’s blog, I went back to my blue version – and now it’s almost done , so fingers crossed that I can get outside on a dry day for some pictures!


Simplicity top 2599 – And an alternative way to sew a neck-facing.


Simplicity top

The dress on the above left  wasn’t being worn for a couple of reasons….. the plain fabric at the top was almost see-through and just looked odd no matter what I wore.   Having such a pale colour next to my face didn’t do me any favours either!

But, because I really like the colourful print, I took out Simplicity 2599:

simplicity 2599

I’ve used this pattern three times before – and all versions were made from the refashion pile. This one was also made from an old dress.

It’s a great woven t-shirt pattern to have on hand.  It comes with different cup sizes and various frills, (none of which I’ve never used). I like that it has bust shaping but is loosely fitted at the waist.



The back of the top is a light sweat-shirting fabric that has a little give to it, making it easy to put on without an opening at the back neck.

I finished the neckline with a facing that was attached a little differently to the pattern directions.  Firstly, I attached just the front neck facing to the front, right sides together, trimmed, flipped it to the inside and pressed it.



Then I stitched the front to the back, at the shoulder seams ( not pictured) , This caught the front facing onto the shoulders.

With the inside front facing me , I pinned the back neck facing across the back neck and over onto the shoulder seams (sandwiching the front facing at the shoulders again)



Here is a close up showing how I then stitched it in place:



Before trimming and turning it through.  Below is a close up of the inside at the shoulder seam.  Sewing it this way keeps the facing secure at the shoulder line, and its a change from the usual order of sewing.  Keep in mind that the shoulder seams are all pressed towards the back, so this only works on fabric that isn’t too bulky.


Inside neckline


I topstitched across the back neck with a stretchy machine stitch:


Back neckline


The armholes are finished with strips of bias-cut lining fabric,  and the armholes are topstitched.









Lastly the side seams and hem are sewn, and then it’s ready to wear !



Cheap & Cheerful ….. a new top from an old dress

Do you end up with bag-loads of other peoples clothes because they know you can sew?  I do!! No one ever sends their clothes to the charity shop without letting me have a look through first !! That’s how I came upon the dress pictured below on the left:

before & after

Old dress into new top


It was a dress that was no longer being worn and I was drawn to the bright colours on it.  The fabric was 100% cotton and I knew I might just squeeze a sleeveless top from it!  I used this Simplicity pattern ( which I’ve made up before )

simplicity 2599

Simplicity 2599


** just a little note if you plan to make this** – I cut mine about 5cm shorter than the pattern as I found it was a bit too long for my taste.

I started by checking if the pieces would fit using the lower portion of the dress:

1checking pattern

sizing up the front pattern piece




It was clear that the top would extend into the other panels on the dress – but the waist section was a heavier fabric that had piping so I wasn’t too keen to use it.  Instead I decided to patch together the pieces of the dress that I wanted to use. and avoid using the piped waistband piece.

I started by cutting apart the dress and the cut out the main back piece :


Back on fold

Which looked like so:4

I then added a dark blue strip along the top, stitching right side together and overlocking the seam:


And then finished cutting out the back piece:



I approached the front piece in a similar way, fitting as much as I could on the fabric:


Adding a piece to the shoulder:


How it looked after adding shoulder pieces:


I bound the neckline and armholes with bias fabric strips:

blue top armholes

It came together quickly and here’s the finished top!

front on hanger

with jeans